14 August 2011

NINETY-SECOND

A.  "—Then we must supervise such stories and those who tell them, and ask them not to disparage the life in Hades in this unconditional way, but rather to praise it, since what they now say is neither true nor beneficial to future warriors.
—We must.
—Then we'll expunge all that sort of disparagement, beginning with the following lines: 'I would rather labor on earth as a serf to another, to a landless man, with little to live on, than be king over all the dead.' "  —  Plato, Republic III, 386c.

B.  "And if there had been any honors, praises, or prizes among them for the one who was sharpest at identifying the shadows as they passed by and who best remembered which usually came earlier, which later, and which simultaneously, and who could thus best divine the future, do you think that our man would desire these rewards or envy those among the prisoners who were honored and held power?  Instead wouldn't he feel, with Homer, that he'd much prefer to 'labor on earth as a serf to another, to a landless man, with little to live on,' and go through any sufferings, rather than share their opinions and live as they do?"  —  Plato, Republic VII, 516c-d.